A very special man James Anderson passed away recently. He was a ‘gentle man’ and helped many authors starting out and for me personally was there for me with encouraging emails when I was going through a stressful time.
I am re-posting the below from Massimo Marino.
In Memory of James A. Anderson (1948-2015)
Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
The original poem was written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905-2004) from Baltimore, MD. There are in existence many slightly different versions of the poem. This extremely famous poem has been read at countless funerals and public occasions. The author composed this poem in a moment of inspiration, and scribbled it on a paper bag. She wrote it to comfort a family friend who had just lost her mother and was unable to even visit her grave. This is the only surviving poem of Mary Elizabeth Frye and quite possibly her only poem.
Family Friend Poems
A few days ago, our friend, supporter, mentor, fellow author, and more, left us. He covered many roles for many independent writers at their debut, and he has left a void that will be filled only by the memory of his words, suggestions, and tips.
James A. Anderson was born in 1948 in Glasgow, Scotland. His early education was in Scotland and England before his family emigrated to Canada in 1957. He completed his high school and university education in Canada. He was a graduate of McMaster University with an Honours BA in History in 1972.
He became a journalist in Canada and has worked 35 years in daily and weekly newspapers before retiring in 2005. He published his first novel DEADLINE in September 2010.
James lived in London, Ontario, Canada. He leaves two grown children, a son and a daughter, and four grandchildren.
I’ve never met James in person, but he became a friend online. He has been the first to read the manuscript—in its unpolished draft version—of my first novel, the first helpful critic with suggestions and pointing at areas that needed more work. He arranged my first experience with an editor, and has been the very first reviewer of my novel, once published: 68 people found his words useful.
We will miss you, James. We can have our eyes full of tears for a friend we only met online, with whom we shared the same passion, the same aspirations, and burned with the same inner fever. It’s what makes us united, despite the distance, despite different background and experience. It’s what makes us human, it’s what makes us brothers and sisters.
I invite all friends and fellow authors who have met/known James to share with us a few words in the comments, and I’ll add them to this same post.
Linda Fulton – I am in shock to hear that James Anderson has passed on. He was encouraging and supportive of me as a new author. He edited my first book. I never met him in person, but I knew he was a kind person with a kind heart. He leaves a big hole with all the writers who knew him and I’m sure that empty space is felt by all his family and friends. We have lost a talented author and a great editor and an all around good person. I will miss his support and level headed kindness. I’ll be praying for his family and friends. Rest In Peace, James.
Shirley Hicks – He will be missed my many. He was one of the good guys. RIP, my friend.
Rebecca Stroud – To me, Jim Anderson was much more than an author, editor, book reviewer…he was my friend. Although we’d never met personally, we’d been in constant touch over the years. I shared his angst over his divorce and his feelings about his new relationship; I traveled with him (virtually) on his solo trip across the northern US on his way to Vancouver and back home again to London, Ontario; and he listened to my incessant whining about whatever I happened to be griping about…or excited about. We discussed everything from politics to dogs to editing to the weather…I will miss him terribly. Such a good, good man…such a loss.
Lalo LaFleur – Very sorry to hear this. He was supportive and encouraging to other authors and a very fine person. Condolences to his family.
Fran Yoakum Veal – So sorry to hear about the passing of James. My prayers are with your family. He was such a kind person.
Heather Payne – So sorry to hear about Uncle Jim. He will be sadly missed. R.I.P. Uncle Jim.
Ch’kara SilverWolf – So sad to hear about James he was a gentle man. Blessed Be!
Thomas Watson – I had noticed his absence and wondered. Truly sorry to hear that he is gone.
Sheena Mackinnon – What a shock. I had noticed that Jim’s frequent comments were missing from facebook, and had intended to contact him. He very kindly showed me his city of London, and last June, I was able to give him a short tour of Nova Scotia, which he enjoyed. Yes, a gentleman, and pleasant company. I hope his son and daughter see this note, as they, and his grandchildren, were very important in his life. I will read again my copies of his novels, and remember him fondly.
Mel Comley – RIP James Anderson a true gentleman and fellow author who will be sorely missed.
Kathy Delaney – This is so awful! I am so sorry to hear this news. Jim was such a nice individual, interesting, and such a talented writer. He will be so missed! My prayers and thoughts are with his family.
Mira Brown – This is devastating news. Jim was one of the nicest and most interesting people that I had the privilege to meet on Amazon and here.
A brilliant writer. My deepest condolences to the family. Their loss is immeasurable. My thoughts are with you all.
Tom Jackson King – I knew James as a fellow journalist and as the author of several thriller novels based on current events. He was kind, generous, sharing with me and others, a fine man who is missed by me and many others. Jim, may you live on in your novels and in the memories of the many you touched.
Lisa Williamson – I too was one of James’ online friends. He mentored me and was kind enough to review my first short story as an Indie author. I wrote this in his honor:
A Master storyteller
So much to so many
Learned you passed
Suddenly you were gone
And you left a hole behind
In the hearts of all you touched
You taught us courage
Taught us how to use words
Kindly shepparded the new
ill we found our feet
Now we sit stunned
So close you were
Yet now so far
You will be missed
Jean Kilczer – Dear James Anderson, you were a good person, a friend to new writers, and a fine writer. Yours was a life well lived. “I warmed my hands by the fire of life, it dies, and I am ready to depart.” Rest in Peace, my friend.
Rhonda Drake – You were a good friend and fellow Author James, and will be missed in the world you’ve left behind. Your writers’ community will miss you deeply, as well as all of your fans.
Holly Barbo – He was a very nice man and a supportive friend. I hoped to meet him..I guess I will put that on my list and hope when the time comes I will go to heaven and see him there. what a visit we will have! You left us too soon, James.
Bryden Lloyd – Mr. Anderson… James… Dear, dear man.
We didn’t converse regularly, often only a passing “how are you doing?”, or similar.
When we did discuss writing, it was always about how well everyone was doing.
You see, that was just it… you were always interested in others and how they were doing; What more we could all do to help.
It was inspiring, but it is so sad to admit that it was never often enough.
You will be greatly missed by a great many people. By so many a great deal more deeply than I. I am proud to have known you, even just for a little while.
Sleep well, my friend, until we meet again.